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Chapter 1. Exploring Contribute > Creating and Editing Pages in Contribute

Creating and Editing Pages in Contribute

The average Contribute user works with the program in two main ways: by editing existing pages or by creating new pages based on an existing page. In both techniques, the editing experience is the same; only the starting point is different. With Contribute, no two people can edit the same page at the same time. Therefore, to make it possible for all the readers of this book to edit a page in Contribute, you'll work with a copy of an existing page.

With the Bounty General home page open, choose Classes from either the navigation bar or the text link. Alternatively, you can enter the URL directly in the Address field: http://bountygeneral.com/hr/training_schedule.htm.

Obviously, clicking a link is a lot more convenient than entering a long URL, but it's important to note that the Contribute user has both options available.


Some designers have tried to hide documents on a Web site by keeping them unlinked; the thought here is that no Contribute user can alter a page if it's not easily accessible. This is not a viable method of keeping material on your site from being edited, however—if the page is on the site, a Contribute user can browse to it. Whether the user can edit it is another matter and best addressed through setting proper permissions, either on the server itself or through Contribute.

Select New Page from the main toolbar; the New Page dialog box is also available through File > New Page or the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+N (Cmd+N).

Contribute offers a number of routes to creating new pages; the available options will depend on the settings applied by the administrator for the user's given role. Through the New Page dialog box, pages can be created in all the following ways, if there are no administrator-enforced restrictions:

  • Blank Page. Often disabled by administrators to prevent contributors from creating pages that don't match the current site's design.

  • Copy of Current Page. A frequently used option that allows users to base a new page on an existing one. If the existing page is based on a Dreamweaver template, a copy of the page will retain the same template characteristics.

  • Starter Web Pages. Sample sites and pages in a wide range of categories. Beyond the Basic Pages category, the sample Web pages are best suited for developing a site from scratch.

  • Templates. Pages found under this option can either be Dreamweaver-style templates with locked and editable regions, or pages in the site designated by the administrator that can be copied.

In the New Page dialog box, choose Copy of Current Page. When the preview of the current page appears, enter a title in the Page Title field. The title should be reflective of the content; here, Upcoming Classes would be an appropriate title. Click OK when you're done to create the page.

The page title entered is applied to the <title> tag in HTML, which is often used by search engines. Helping Contribute users understand that even their seemingly smallest actions, such as naming a page, have repercussions is one of the challenges faced by site administrators. The page title is later used to suggest the filename for the page, as well.

Modify the page by adding a colon followed by the next month and year after the heading Training Schedule. Next, add two returns after the heading and enter the following text: The following classes are open to Bounty General personnel only.

For the most part, Contribute acts like a standard word processor when editing pages. This familiarity helps users quickly adjust to using the program. Some text options—such as whether paragraph returns generate one blank line or two—are configured by the administrator based on the user's assigned role. One of the responsibilities of the administrator when setting up the various roles is to understand the Contribute user's work environment, skill level, and client expectations.

In addition to inserting new text by hand, you can copy and paste from any text file; text copied from Microsoft Word retains its formatting. Microsoft Word and Excel documents can also be dragged and dropped onto the page and will be automatically converted into HTML. Optionally, documents can be linked from the Web page instead of appearing in their entirety; this method is usually reserved for lengthy documents. Details on working with external documents can be found in Lesson 5.

Change the formatting of the line just entered by selecting it and then choosing Heading 4 from the Style drop-down list. Continue to format the line by choosing Center from the Alignment options, and alter the color by selecting Text Color and choosing a new one from the pop-up color picker.

If you had not chosen Heading 4 (or another heading option) from the Style drop-down list, the alignment options would not have been available. The options are disabled for other styles because the CSS for this page specifies that the <p> tag is left aligned. Contribute enforces the CSS rules wherever possible, a fact that is not always apparent to the end user. Working with CSS in Contribute is explored more fully in Lesson 4.



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